Through the Keyhole – Palaces around Madrid   

The palaces round Madrid and the personalities of their occupants are the subject of this talk. We start with Philip II’s great monastery-palace of El Escorial and its 18th century Casitas.  La Granja near Segovia has gardens reminiscent of Versailles, while the Royal Palace in Madrid designed for Philip V, a grandson of Louis XIV of France, has ceilings by Tiepolo, and a chinoiserie porcelain room created for Charles III. Aranjuez was a favourite Bourbon palace, and has the delightful Casita de Labrador built for the future Charles IV.  The Pardo Palace, once a hunting lodge and then the official residence of General Franco, and Riofrio, built in the middle of forests near Segovia for the redoubtable Elizabeth Farnese, second wife of Spain’s first Bourbon king, end the tour.